1.07.2012

Outlaw Run 2011: Johnson County

Nate Champion statue at the Jim Gatchell Museum
Out on the range in Kaycee
Kaycee looking south towards Casper
Downtown Kaycee
Good dinner and breakfast
Typical Wyoming ranchers rig to include at least one dog
Chris LeDoux statue, note guitar
KC Ranch artifacts
Nate Champion defending the KC Ranch from the invaders
Artifact on display at the Hoofprints Through Time
Not our friend from yesterday but one of his cohorts-not sure what was going on but thankfully it did not involve us!
Well, that Wyoming Highway patrol car swung right back around the block to me and the bikes! Well, that would be our friendly trooper from yesterdays encounter up in Sheridan! Go figure! This time it was more of a social call and it turns out that our new buddy was in fact a bike rider like ourselves so we spent a considerable amount of time chewing the fat talking about bikes! Ah, if only world leaders were bike riders maybe then we ALL could get along! Well eventually our buddy had a call to go to and Wyatt and I still had to ride about 40 miles or so to Kaycee. Wyatt followed me down Wyoming Highway 196 which is the nice scenic route that meanders past the TA Ranch (Johnson County War fame) through rolling hills and over the interstate. There were a lot of pronghorn out so I was very mindful of them and they all just stood there out on the prairie looking at us roar by with their third eye. The sun was sinking down in the west as we rolled into Kaycee, population 248. Earlier in the year I had contacted a local campground owner who assured me that there would be a place for us to sleep; well we found that campground off to the side of the main road just south of town by the rodeo grounds. The campground was more like a stone covered RV park with rigs that probably belonged to oilfield workers-in fact there was hardly any green ground to be seen...I could feel Wyatts concern puncture my back as I tried to act as though I knew what was going on! Well, some old-timer who looked old enough to have been here during the shoot-out at the KC Ranch popped out of a trailer. Thankfully he had a smile on his rugged face and didn't seem to worry about us-I explained to him why we were here and that I had spoken to a gal earlier in the year, "Oh, that was my daughter...she didn't say anything to me and we don't have any more spots but I can find you a space." The first space was a patch of green ground located right behind the shower house...I nervously looked at Wyatt who looked at me with I-Don't-Think-So! look in his eyes. Well, I asked the old timer if he had another place, "Not sure, but lets look over here." He led us over to a nice big green patch of real estate; Wyatt gave me the, 'That-Will-Work-Look', "Okay, we'll take it!" We followed the old-timer back to his trailer and paid up. Wyatt and I went back into town over to the Invasion Bar for dinner; we certainly were not local and the help kinda had the, 'What-Are-You-Guys-Doing-Here' look but we just acted like we ate here all the time and they were very polite. The topic of one night versus two nights came up during dinner and I was playing the 'lets-wait-and-see-maybe-this-will-get-better' card. After dinner we went back to the campground and set up for the night. I was up at first light and walked into town back to the Invasion Bar for coffee. Thankfully it was open and there was a table of local ranchers discussing sports and eating breakfast-I pulled up a seat and invited myself into there conversation while I drank coffee. The main topic was whether or not if so-and-so was going to Nebraska for some game. They were friendly enough and acted as though I was apart of the scenery-I said little and just enjoyed my coffee and there jabbering. Eventually I went back and by now Wyatt was up and about. We pretty much decided that one night was enough and that we would have breakfast, check out the Hoofprints Through Time museum and the Chris LeDoux statue. The Hoofprints Through Time Museum was a treasure trove of artifacts from the Johnson County War (look it up) and ranch/pioneer life. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid hid out at the Hole-In-Wall west of Kaycee back in the day. The actual cave/wall in on a private ranch so, we didn't make it there. After we were done we rolled on the line to Casper...

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